Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga Teacher Training in CaliforniaAwakened Heart, Embodied Mind
Yoga Teacher Training
with Hala Khouri, Julian Walker & Jay Fields




2018 Dates NOW Listed Below!

Join us for the 8th year of this uniquely integrated learning experience!

The  Groundbreaking Contemporary Training in Mind-Body Yoga.

Community. Inclusivity. Practical Neuroscience-Based Tools. Informed by Somatic Psychology & Buddhist Mindfulness.

(You can make your initial deposit, pay in full or set up your payment plan by clicking the button below.)

Sign Up Now!


AHEM Yoga Teacher Trainers

Your AHEM Trainers: Julian Walker, Jay Fields & Hala Khouri



You may be wondering: who takes our trainings?

We usually have about half the group experiencing their first yoga teacher training, and the other half who already have a 200 hr certification, some of whom are even 500 hr certified experienced teachers.

The reason for this is that our unique curriculum will certify you at the 200hr level if that is what you want/need, but the information, learning experience, growth and healing journey, and overall integrative process of our course goes above and beyond even most 500 hr trainings.

We also draw psychology professionals interested in the intersection of what we offer, both for themselves and their clients.

So, whether you are:

  • Looking to start your teaching journey by joining us for your first 200 hr certification ✓
  • Already a seasoned teacher, with 200 or even 500 hrs under your belt ✓
  • Want to integrate an embodied perspective into your work as a psychotherapist ✓
  • Or are taking the training for your own personal growth and education ✓
    —YOU are most welcome to join the AHEM community!

Our trainees tend to be smart, curious, and diverse, and hold the core values of equality, tolerance, compassion and life-long learning.


AHEM Yoga Teacher Training





The Training is scheduled over 7 three-day weekends  from January to June of  2018.

2015 ahem yoga group pic

Posing with the 2015 trainees —they did so great!

Jan 25-28
Feb 16-18
Mar 16-18
Apr 20-22
May 4-6
May 25-27
Jun 15-17



Fridays 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 – 6 p.m. 
Saturdays 12:30 – 4 pm, 4:15 – 6:30 pm, 7:30 – 9 pm (rare Saturdays may change to have a morning instead of evening session with plenty of advance notice..)
Sundays 7:00 -8:45 a.m. and 11:15 – 5:15 p.m.

* Please Note: The opening weekend (January 25 – 28) is the only weekend that includes a Thursday session from 12:30 – 5:15 for introductions, opening circle, and orientation.



The Training happens at Santa Monica Yoga in beautiful Santa Monica, California.




jay asana 3


hala:melanie beach


smy north



Sign Up Now!



The Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind (AHEM) Yoga Teacher Training is (a way-above-and-beyond)  Yoga Alliance approved 200 hr program which is unique in seven important ways:DSC_5546

1) Highly Effective Practice Teaching 

We pride ourselves on really training teachers to teach.

Many trainings will provide a lot of technical information and yoga practice time, but very little actual time teaching yoga and getting used to being in front of the room.

In our program you will practice yoga and learn technique, but you will also be prepared for 2 practicum sessions over your 200 hours in which you get to teach your peers while being observed and then get loving, personal feedback from your trainers on how to keep improving.

New teachers will be supported in developing their basic teaching skill set, while already experienced teachers will also be challenged to deepen and grow in the areas of: authentic voice, holding space, engaged presence, thematic content, technical clarity and inclusivity.

Sound scary? Read on to find out why it won’t be…


2) Real Transformation Tools 

We emphasize pragmatic personal growth and provide you with highly effective tools to not only manage and master nervousness, fear or insecurity, but to understand these as opportunities for healing and empowerment in the safe and sacred container of the work we do together.

As an example of the tools we provide: In our practicum sessions, the trainee “on deck”  gets 5 minutes to practice “The Foundational Trinity” while the trainee before them is teaching. This is a simple yet powerful embodied meditation on getting grounded, focused and connected before meeting the challenge of teaching in front of the room.

After teaching, trainer feedback is offered in the spirit of compassionate and supportive constructive criticism, and trainees are given personalized homework to keep developing their  warmth, authenticity, mastery, and skill.


3) Find Your Tribe

For us it is of central importance to create a shared learning experience in which our group of trainees bond, support one-another, and feel loved,

A sweet moment on the last day —writing positive feedback on sticky notes!

A sweet moment on the last day —writing positive feedback on sticky notes!

encouraged and accepted. We know that the teacher training process is not so much about the egos of the trainers as it is about the experience of the participants. We know we have succeeded when each trainee feels that they have found their tribe and enjoyed a sense of belonging that allows real growth and learning to unfold.


4) The Operating System

Our philosophy is that if we teach you how to think about and look at the human body, mind and heart in intelligent, compassionate and well-informed ways, you will be a better teacher than someone who has merely memorized information and tried to be a carbon copy of their trainer.

In that spirit, we provide a solid foundation in functional anatomy, safe and sound alignment technique, core and joint stabilization principles, and a basic understanding both of how to prevent and help heal common injuries and bio-mechanical imbalances.

We teach you how to think in the moment and meet people “where they are at,” so as to be an effective, kind and curious guide to your students.



Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 7.23.26 PM5) Grounded Mind-Body Spiritual Psychology

Because we recognize the practice and teaching of yoga as being about mind-body integration, you will experience readings and discussion that give you a practical and grounded perspective on spirituality through the lens of Somatic Psychology, Neuroscience, and Buddhist meditation.

We teach the importance of self-awareness and personal growth as a teacher, as well as what it means to build a healthy yoga community around your teaching, hold space for your students in ways that allow for beneficial inner work, and what it means to really have a compassionate respect for the human experience as revealed on the yoga mat.

For example, you will take the journey through a 10 day process of practicing 5 specific meditation techniques that gradually increase from 5 to 20 minutes and train your brain for greater mental focus, compassion, body awareness, and intuitive insight.


6) Find Your Voice, Share Your Gifts

We believe that each teacher has a unique voice and gift to share, and support our trainees in finding their way toward fully empowered creative self-expression that rests on the foundation of solid information, sincere self-awareness and the humble willingness to keep learning for life.


7) A Map To Success & Future Support

We prepare you to enter your yoga career (if that is your intention) realistically, by sharing an inside glimpse of the business and offering you potential roadmaps for how to make a living and find your path.

Teaching big classes at a local studio usually takes a long time and more than a little luck to achieve, so we’ll teach you smart ways to create a portfolio of private and corporate classes and take the long view.

What’s more, after training you won’t just be left hanging! You will have free access to our Yoga Teacher Grad. School community, as well as the AHEM email newsletter with  articles and videos that support you starting your journey into teaching yoga. Also stay tuned for the 500 Hour completion course, as well as future online modules!

Sign Up Now!


Teacher training is a huge decision.

It is a significant investment of time, energy and money. We believe ours is the best around, but it is not for everyone.

However, if you want a learning experience that combines the best of East and West, ancient and modern, spirituality, psychology and science, if you want to not only be 200hr certified (or add to any existing certifications) but to also become the yoga teacher and human being you most aspire to embody: to touch lives, to make a positive impact on our precious world —we would love to welcome you into the Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind adventure!

If you are still unsure if our training is a good fit for you, please check out these testimonial video clips by our graduates.


You can also contact Hala ( or Julian ( or Jay ( with any questions you may have.

Feel free to subscribe at no obligation  in the upper right sidebar to receive our newsletters with articles, free training videos and updates on the Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind Yoga Teacher Trainings —best of all, you will be able to download Chapter 1 from our manual for a FREE preview!

Sign Up Now!


This training is born of a passionate 15+ year friendship and teaching partnership between seasoned long-term senior teachers and leaders in the fieldJulian Walker E-RYT 500 and  Hala Khouri, M.A. E-RYT.
julian and hala laugh

It is the result of many long conversations about what an exciting, modern, truly integrated program might look like.

Both of us have taught classes for over 20 years, and had co-taught 8 years workshops for teachers in LA and at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California before creating AHEM.

With well over a decade of experience (by 2010) working one-on-one:  Hala with her M.A. in counseling psychology and background in Somatic Experiencing, and Julian with a mind-body healing method called Open Sky Bodywork, we wanted to share how this had deeply influenced our yoga teaching.

We asked ourselves how go to the next level of sharing the deeper truths about inner work, genuine compassion, embodied aliveness, and the healing power of yoga, that we had learned  in our study, practice, leading classes, retreats, workshops and training  teachers.

The Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind curriculum is our heartfelt and excited answer to this question!

j_fieldsIn our 5th year running this training at Exhale, we were delighted to add new faculty member Jay Fields. She brings a veteran teacher’s eye for asana technique and instructional cues, as well as a grounded, compassionate dedication to yoga as healing and empowering inner work.

Our 2015 & 2016 trainees absolutely loved her, and we are proud to say that with Jay, Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind is an even more potent, soulful and intelligent journey!


It features:

* Julian’s in-depth functional anatomy course.
* Jay’s precise and safe instruction in technique and alignment.
 Hala’s psychological perspective on teaching trauma-informed yoga.
* Specific tools for creating sacred space in ways that allow for healing, growth and transformation.
* Study and discussion of key texts on the integration of meditation and neuroscience, trauma and healing, Buddhism and psychology.
* A 10 Day Meditation Challenge carefully designed to gradually introduce you to the brain training skills of 5 meditation techniques.

To go with the trainingthere is also a book  on Amazon Kindle (and readable with the free app on any Mac and PC, iPad, or smartphone) that expresses our core philosophy.



Are you hungry to understand the relationships between anatomy, yoga postures and sequencing, and how to both prevent injuries and correct imbalances?

The Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind Teacher Training will reveal the underlying structural principles of the body, and encourage you to think creatively about effectively serving each student.

In this sanctuary for your own growth and learning, we hold a space for you to find your own voice —to be authentically present in your body and ignite the ability to share your gift with the world.

We emphasize the underlying philosophy as much as the nuts and bolts of technique and alignment. We prioritize the teacher’s personal journey of healing and integration as a platform from which to facilitate and support future students with genuine compassion and grounded insight.

Held at Santa Monica Yoga, this program will provide an unforgettable and well-structured learning experience, and give you a group of peers (usually between 20 and 30) united in a bond of support, fun and shared growth.

Join  us for an extraordinary adventure!

Sign Up Now!


SMY logo


2018 Weekend Dates: Jan 25-28, Feb 16-18, Mar 16-18, Apr 20-22, May 4-6, May 25-27, Jun 15-17.


Fridays 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 – 6 p.m. 
Saturdays 12:30 – 4 pm, 4:15 – 6:30 pm, 7:30 – 9 pm (rare Saturdays may change to have a morning instead of evening session with plenty of advance notice..)
Sundays 7:00 -8:45 a.m. and 11:15 – 5:15 p.m.

* Please Note: The opening weekend (January 25 – 28) is the only weekend that includes a Thursday session from 12:30 – 5:15 for introductions, opening circle, and orientation.

Price: $2975  | Materials: $50
Early Bird Price: $2675 if paid in full by December 15, 2017.
Deposit to hold your space: $350 as a portion of your total. (non-refundable/non-transferable)
Payment Plan: $350 deposit and then 6 payments of $455 due by the end of the training on June 17th, 2018.
Location:  Santa Monica Yoga, 1640 Ocean Pk. Blvd, Santa Monica Ca, 90405

You can make your deposit to save your spot, pay in full or set up your payment plan by clicking the button below.

Sign Up Now!

Want to Learn More? Please take your time exploring our many FREE articles and videos HERE, and Join the Email List in the Upper Right Sidebar to Stay In Touch! Best of all, after joining the list you will be able to download Chapter 1 from our manual for a FREE preview!

ANY QUESTIONS: email,, or